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Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership: The Paradox of Personal Dysfunction
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Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership: The Paradox of Personal Dysfunction

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  203 ratings  ·  31 reviews
McIntosh and Rima offer a series of steps for leaders to consider so they can take control of their dark side and learn to harness its creative powers.
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Published November 1st 2007 by Baker Books (first published January 1st 1997)
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Ryan Reeves
This book is solid, though there is far too much of a bent towards psychoanalyzing biblical figures, as well as a muted Christian theology that feels weak in certain places.


I can offer my criticisms first. Straight off, there is the muted doctrine of sin that prefers to see each of us as suffering from tendencies--resulting from past traumas, childhood issues, and our spiritual values--that sway towards the Dark Side (their term). I caught a hint of geeky pride over constantly talkin
Courtney Huskisson
I think this is definitely an important area to recognize if you are involved in any form of leadership.

The most valuable part of this book was part II.

The first part of the book spent most of the time looking at case examples and leaders who fell to huge moral failures, pointing out the importance of looking at the 'dark side'. For myself, I have already heard many stories about leadership gone wrong, so skimming through this portion was fine. Part II however gave profiles of different kinds
Both author’s reference their personal experiences in witnessing the demise of those in Christian leadership that they either held in high regard or were prominent in the public eye, as the basis of their initial interest in the dark side of leadership. They explain, “We were desperate to learn how we could protect ourselves from such humiliating failure in the future and help others to avoid similar defeats.”

The book is primarily aimed at Christian leaders. It proposes to arm them with new unde
Fran Trascritti
An amazing book on the paradox of your personality in leading others. Premise of the book: As you lead through your strengths, these same strengths can be your greatest weaknesses, or "dark sides." So what do you do? McIntosh provides insights in redeeming the dark sides in Christ and through introspective work as well as the power of the Holy Spirit, you can become a more complete leader in Christ.

This is a book every leader should read.
A good book that explains how our strengths can be our weaknesses. Using famous examples the author illustrates what the problems of being compulsive, narcissistic, paranoid, codependent, and passive-aggressive can look like.
Pretty much anyone can relate to one of these, and the book offers a good opportunity for self-reflection and some tools for dealing with our issues.
This book is a must read for anyone involved in leadership.
Abner Huertas
Un amigo me regalo este libro para el día de mi cumpleaños. En ese momento me encontraba terminado otro libro así que puse este en "fila". Hace cinco días comencé a leerlo, desde el prologo reconocí el valor de este libro y cuánto iba a agregar valor en mi vida. Tanto que en cuestión de cinco días lo leí completamente.

En este libro Macintosh y Lima exponen las causas principales del por qué los grandes líders caen. Como cualquier ser humano tú y yo tenemos áreas en nuestras vidas que no son nada
Josh Wilson
Gary L. McIntosh & Samuel D. Rima, Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership:

McIntosh & Rima’s book is a powerful call for leaders to wake up and take the difficult path of self-examination before their weaknesses undermine their work. While the book focuses especially on those in ministry leadership, the principles expressed have wide ranging application for leaders in many fields. In Overcoming the Dark Side, the author’s pull no punches. From the outset of the work, the reader is confr
Henk-Jan van der Klis
Waar de 'dark side', ofwel schaduwzijde van onze persoonlijkheid in eerste instantie een negatief beeld oproept, heeft de ontdekking en behandeling, leren overwinningen behalen op grote voordelen. De schrijvers illustreren beide mogelijke reacties (laten ontwikkelingen van de dark side als het weerstaan en overwinnen ervan) met diverse voorbeelden van (christelijke) leiders, Amerikaanse presidenten en hun eigen levensverhalen. Na de behandeling van een aantal typen (dwangmatig leider, narcist, p ...more
Isaiah Jesch
I first read this book as an assignment for a course I took on Church Planting in my undergraduate work. I enjoyed this book and have marked it as a good resource to review again and use when leading my own staff.
Gray Ewing
Although the exegesis of biblical characters and the use of pop psychology are far to facile to satisfy this ENTJ, the practical application quizzes and questionnaires at the ends of the chapters are gold. Worthy of a church leaders time.
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Great read all around. It is specifically meant for people who are in leadership positions in the church or other christian ministries, but I think it offers a lot of insight and the chance for personal reflection for just about anyone.

I especially liked what he had to say about different styles of leadership and compared them to leaders in the bible. Are you a compulsive leader like Moses? A paranoid leader like Saul? Or a co-dependent leader like Samson?

Garland Vance
I agree with the overall premise of this book: each person has a dark side that has been developed (consciously or unconsciously) over the years. This dark side can drive a person to greatness or destroy a person.
However, I did not find this book incredibly helpful in discovering my dark side. If you want a good tool for this learn about the Enneagram. It's far more useful and comprehensive.
Kevin Beasley
Oct 20, 2008 Kevin Beasley rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: leadership enthusiasts
Recommended to Kevin by: Dr. Wayne Lee
You will rarely read a book that focuses on a leaders weaknesses. However, what better lesson to be learned than to find out some roadblocks that will cause you to be less than you could be! This is a great twist on leadership development. There is 5 dark sides. Which one haunts you and how can you overcome it's grasp? Find out!
It is important for every leader or person being a leader to lead for this book.
This book discusses what the usual cause of a leader can fall or fail, is the dark side. Not only discuss, but it helps us understand what the dark side, we find the dark side and minimize the negative consequences of the dark side
As imperfect humans, we all have needs and hurts which if not recognized and dealt with can lead to misuse of the power that comes with leadership and lead to the downfall of ministry.

The book explores: compulsive leader, narcissistic, paranoid, codependent and passive-aggressive leadership styles.
This book would make a great pamphlet. The main points in it were good, but I found it to be really overstated and therefore, got easily bored with it. Although the content was insightful, I didn't find it nearly as well written as his last book, "Leading from the Inside Out."
Talbot Course: Biblical Leadership and Management

What a great title! The book addresses a lot of relevant pitfalls when it comes to leadership, but it's a bit "lightweight". You're left asking yourself, "Ok, so how exactly do I overcome the Dark Side?"
Daniel McNaughton
I read this book again. This time it really hit home. It caused me to take a hard look at some of my behaviors and ask myself "Why am I doing that?" A great read for the person who doesn't mind allowing God to pull away the smoke and mirrors.
Kevin Buckley
Fluff fluff fluff....Here is the book in summary: Everyone has a dark side, even leaders. Sometimes we bottle up negative feelings then this shows in a blow-up or lapse of morals. The book primarily focuses on leaders in the church.
April Welch
I read this book in Seminary and it was good to revisit it - everyone has a dark side - it is what you do with it that makes a difference. If you are really clueless about what yours is - I recommend this book to discover it!
Zack Langford
This book helped me understand myself as a leader and helped me through some tough times early on in my ministry career. I definitely would recommend this book to anyone struggling with issues within themselves as leaders.
This is a solid book to accompany other books on Spiritual Leadership formation, but on its own, it probably won't help much. Heavy on diagnosing the issues but light on solutions, it will probably leave you looking for more.
This book will make you reflect inwardly and deeply. The process revealed my early programming and made me angry, but you can bet I am doing something about it now!
The dark side isn't necessarily bad but simply our needs and desires can help us succeed and achieve but they also can cause us ultimately to fail.
Though this book based on christien background, the idea on identifying and coping the dark side in everyone. It can be read as a business book.
Ed Gavras
Okay book - some pop-psychology mixed with some pretty good christian views. Helpful starting point but by no means complete.
Marcus Lynn
Full of self-evaluative tools this gem is good for all leaders to read.
A must read for anyone in any kind of leadership
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